Delivery by cesarean section increased dramatically from 12% in 2010 to 31% in 2016. Public health experts called for steps to rein in this “unacceptable” high rates of cesarean section at a meeting held on 10 May to discuss the issue.
According to WHO, cesarean section should be within 10 to 15% of total deliveries in a country. Key stakeholders met today at the MIS Conference room in Mohakhali, DG Health office to look into ways this challenge can be addressed. A draft action plan styled ‘Prevention of Unnecessary C-Section and Promotion of Normal Delivery in Bangladesh’ was developed in consultation with the key stakeholders on. As next steps, the plan will be presented to the Government.
Delivery by cesarean section increased dramatically from 12% in 2010 to 31% in 2016 indicating a rise of C-section even in cases where it could have been avoided. Cesarean section is becoming a common practice in private clinics accounting for an astounding 83% of the delivery, whereas in government clinics, it is 35% only.
The draft action plan looks at 7 areas where further attention is necessary. Prioritization of regulatory frameworks, strengthening of the health system, awareness building on the promotion of normal delivery, enhancement of skills of medical practitioners for normal delivery and facility readiness were some of the items on the draft action plan.
A campaign addressing unnecessary c-section has started about a year ago, teaming up with like-minded organizations to raise awareness about the risks of unnecessary caesareans. It’s calling for better regulation of the industry, more checks and balances and greater funding for vital maternal health services.
Dr. Ishtiaq Mannan, Deputy Country Director of Save the Children in Bangladesh and an expert in newborn and maternal health, said the situation was extremely concerning.
Over 80 percent of all births in private hospitals in Bangladesh are now C-sections. C-section must be an informed decision and shouldn’t be left to patients as a choice. Patients should know the pros and cons of delivering through c-section., said Dr. Sham El Arifeen, Head, Child Health Unit, Icddrb,
‘One of Bangladesh’s biggest challenges is addressing a major shortage of accredited midwives, who not only support natural childbirth when healthy to do so but help reduce the burden faced by busy doctors.’ Said Selina Amin, Head, Midwifery Education Program, James P Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University.
“We have sent directives to all of our members throughout the country to ensure of partograph and to maintain monitoring of standard of procedures,” says Professor Laila Arjumand Banu President of OGSB.